Memories of the coach of the football team of the Pripyat "Builder"

The story of a football match that did not take place


Everything is subject to radiation. And football too. In this article, we recall the match that was ripped off by the "peaceful atom."

“Now in our stadium a real forest. Imagine, but we were preparing to spend a busy season on it. If not for what happened, now our team would play calmly in the championship of Ukraine. Which league? Maybe in the First. Maybe higher ... ". Says one of the former players of the football team "Builder", whose youth ended in the spring of 1986. They were footballers, but were forced to become liquidators. Their generation, in fact, in its prime, has been thinned out by the harmful effects of radiation, and not everyone has survived to this day.


In the days when our people were forced to fight the “peaceful atom”, they actually planned to play the semifinal of the Regional Cup. Young guys from the Stroitel (Pripyat) team were preparing to give a fight to the Mashinostroitel (Borodyanka) team. That match did not take place - but later it was already turned gray by the veterans of football. And war veterans with radiation - for the future of the whole world.


Now, like the scars on the body, in the vast expanses of Ukrainian Polesie, the boundaries of the Exclusion Zone are stretched - they separate ordinary life from what has become a monument of human self-confidence, and human recklessness, and human courage, and human self-sacrifice. The biggest monument. The most painful monument. A place where time froze for tens, hundreds of years.


We present to you the confession of a man who was a coach of the Pripyat football team and survived those days.


From the memoirs of Valery Anyukhin, who at that time was the trainer of the Pripyat Builder.


- In 1981, I joined the Builder team. April. We were invited to work by Vasily Trofimovich Kizima, head of the department for the construction of a nuclear power plant. Before that, I worked as a football coach at the press factory in Dnepropetrovsk. Together with me, he invited four more people.


We were the first in the region, but in the championship of Ukraine we could not win anything. Then Vasily Trofimovich set the task: to participate in the championship of Ukraine and be sure to achieve any results.


We also had a few tricks on the team. Zubko Vasya, Valik Litvin with his brothers, Kolyba Vasily, Gene Krukovets, Seryozha Taranenko. There were enough local ones. Although, in general, there were not enough people in the team. It was necessary to create a team of 15-18 equal players. In the early years, performances took 6-7 places. The picture was unsatisfactory. Therefore, the first requirement of the head of the construction department was that the people playing for the team would certainly be in the city.


For a good base, there should initially be a foundation on which to look up. Invited a few people from Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk. Alekseev, Sergey Bondarenko, Sergey Slyusar, Sergey Bezotosny arrived. The team began to form. Already after they gathered a solid skeleton, they began to pay attention to young people. We had an excellent youth sports school. Even after the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, when everyone went somewhere, several people from the walls of this school played at a good all-Union level - in the second league.


A very solid base was being created at that time: additional training fields were being built, all the local people came, we even attracted those who were already in grades 10-11! They happily connected to training and went to the competition with us. If all this remained, the reserve would have been just wonderful - all the locals and no visitors.


The new stadium was supposed to open on May 9, 1986. The first match of the championship of Ukraine just had to be held on our five thousandth. If I’m not mistaken, Shakhtar (Alexandria) should be the opponent. And before that, at the end of April, we had to play in the semifinal of the Cup of the region with Borodyanka. We came to the stadium, to the game. There the station is already on fire, but we all did not believe that a real disaster had struck and our match would not take place. Only after chemical protection troops began to enter through the viaduct, and a helicopter got into the stadium, we realized that everything was very serious.

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